Tag: Germany

ISRAEL REACHES MIGRANT DEAL WITH THE UN AFTER PROTESTS

African migrants protest in IsraelIsrael and the United Nations reached a deal on Monday to send some 16,000 African asylum seekers to Western counties, nixing a controversial deportation plan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that other migrants will be allowed to stay in Israel for at least five years.

“Israel and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have reached unprecedented understandings for the departure of at least 16,250 migrants … to Western nations,” said Netanyahu’s office in a statement. Later, the prime minister identified these countries as Germany, Canada and Italy. The UN has yet to confirm this. Continue reading

GERMANY’S TOP COURT REJECTS FULL-FACE VEILED DRIVER’S COMPLAINT

Woman driving with full face veil (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Kremming)Germany’s top court on Monday rejected a Muslim woman’s request to suspend a ban on driving while wearing a face veil.

The woman had argued that the face veil ban for drivers violated her religious freedom.

The Karlsruhe based court found the woman, who has worn the niqab for seven years, failed to explain how the law violated her religious freedom or why she faced harm driving unveiled.

According to traffic laws, drivers must have “unhindered all-around visibility” in order to protect other drivers and may” not cover up or obscure their face so that it is no longer recognizable”.

The law, which was approved in September last year, also aims to help police identify and prosecute drivers for traffic violations.

HORST SEEHOFER: ISLAM DOES NOT BELONG TO GERMANY, SAYS NEW MINISTER

Germany’s new interior minister has said he believes “Islam does not belong” to the country, in remarks that contrast with those of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Horst Seehofer set out a range of immigration policies as he took up his role at the heart of the new coalition.

He has long been a vocal critic of Mrs Merkel’s refugee policies. His comments are seen as an effort to win back voters from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. In 2015, amid a rise in anti-immigration protests, Mrs Merkel said she believed Islam was part of Germany, echoing words from former president Christian Wulff.

In his interview with the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, Mr Seehofer said Germany had been “shaped by Christianity”, and that the country should not give up its own traditions. “The Muslims who live with us obviously belong to Germany,” he added.

Mr Seehofer, who heads Mrs Merkel’s Bavarian sister party the CSU, also vowed to increase deportations of rejected asylum-seekers. More than one million migrants arrived in Germany after Mrs Merkel opened the doors to Syrian asylum seekers in 2015.

The backlash sparked by her policy helped fuel the country’s far right in last year’s election – the AfD entered the federal parliament for the first time – and led to the worst electoral performance in almost 70 years for her CDU party.

After Germany’s longest post-war period of coalition-building, Mrs Merkel was sworn in for a fourth term as chancellor on Wednesday. Under the coalition deal, the CDU-CSU conservative bloc and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to limit migration.

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